A beautiful woodsy session with Melissa Neck Photography, and this year’s resulting holiday card:
Isabel March, our fabulous wedding photographer, held a Little Love Portraits event with complimentary(!) mini studio sessions in honor of Valentine’s Day. With our busy lives, it was a nice reminder to stop and capture the moment. Only a short time ago, our tiny 5-lb valentine came home and transformed our world. She’s now a sweet, endearing toddler who seems to have picked up her puppy’s habit of making friends wherever she goes. A singing, dancing, belly-laughing little girl with a big grin, tiny feet, and baby wisps still waiting for real hair to grow. Happy Valentine’s Day, and happy birthday, little Madeline. May this memory be one of many we will hold dear always.
This year might be Mommy’s last chance to make Madeline valentines for a while. Besides being super into Frozen (audio here and video here), Madeline loves “Mimi Moush,” whom she knows as her crib buddy. So Mimi Moush valentines we did.
She’s come a long way from her tiny almost-9-week-old self.
This morning, she was not feeling the Valentine dress, so we went with her “babybug” shirt instead.
The cupcakes were a big hit, as were the treats from her class party.
Each night at bedtime, Madeline gets a song. This routine has become unwieldy given her penchant for repetition, but evidently she has been paying attention, at least. Who knew kids had such good memory at this age?
It’s challenging to catch Madeline on digital media because she often wants to grab the recording device. Here, she is absorbed in singing her song to Mookey and Boo.
What a visit to the Poconos! Although Madeline first became acquaintanced with snow in Philly, she was delighted to play in fresh, deep fluff for the very first time. She also, for the very first time, identified “Gama” and “Gampapa.” By the end of the weekend, she added to her vocabulary “Eemee” (Amy), “No-wah” (Laura), and “Mee-am” or “Ee-am” (Liam).
First came story time with Gama and Gampapa on the evening we arrived. M loves her board book collections, perfectly sized for her hands. She especially loves her Mother Goose rhymes, including “Dumpy Dumpy,” “Fuffin Man,” “Kinko Shar,” “Pah Cake,” and “Diddo Diddo.”
The next morning, we headed out for the grownups to ski while baby and puppy explored the snow:
Back home for lunch and a little playtime with Dad:
Heading out for the afternoon, we were much more about our wits and ready to play.
Fortuitously, we discovered a neighborhood friend!
Winding down after a full day. Let’s do some rock n reading.
Out to play the next morning. Say goodbye to the adults! We’ve got business with a toboggan.
Afternoon ski time. Go away Dad, I’ve got a toboggan to ride.
Finally, some scenic shots over the weekend:
The babies in our little circle of friends were all born around the same time, so rather than have a slew of birthday parties (and cakes…and goodie bags…and party commitments), a friend and I decided to do our kids’ two-year-old birthday celebration together. Happy birthday to R, M, and the rest of the gang.
Our amazing two-sided Elmo cake and cupcakes were made by my friend Judy of The Good, Bad and Yummy. Judy is a hilarious kind-hearted soul and directed me in my all-time favorite role, Sally in YAGMCB. Most. Fun. Ever. Nowadays she pours her creativity into her baking. She made the bottom tier of mint chocolate chip cake and the top of red velvet, and both were indeed yummy.
First, the kids went to play while things were getting settled.
Then, we started on the cake and munchies.
Next, we attempted a group photo. You can just imagine the storyline here. We had a near fall with a dad on hand to catch, someone who brilliantly conferred upon each toddler a balloon, a brief alignment of smiling babies, and rapid deterioration into chaos as their attention lapsed.
Finally, they went back to the playroom. M was a big fan of the cat (“Kitty! Kitty!”).
The kids had a few presents to open. M was excited for books, Minnie Mouse, and shoes.
The first real snowfall of the season occurred a few days after New Year’s. Until then, Madeline had never truly experienced snow; she was only a bundled-up baby in a carrier the previous winter. I am thankful to be able to capture this moment in photo and film. Thank you, smartphone.
Better late than never, right?
Poor Henry endured much yogurt, fur tugging, and swatting from Madeline last year. Fortunately they are still buds. It’s amazing how M has grown and yet still looks very much like her baby self.
2014 might well be our last year to sleep in on Christmas Day for quite a while. (Last year’s photos are here.) Madeline had been asking to open the gifts under the tree, but she doesn’t yet understand the concept of Christmas Day. This year’s holiday was all about introducing her to the tree, to decorating it with ornaments, to seeing the Nutcracker (a kids version put on by the Rock School), wrapping presents, and now opening them.
With a little help getting started, she’s gotten the hang of ripping off wrapping paper. First came a Hess truck with a space cruiser and a little baby scout ship. The space cruiser emits sound effects upon swerving or diving, making it a big hit with Daddy (and baby).
Next, we have a family of Calico Critters, the Woodbrook Beaver Family.
Then some snow mittens, a detour to the trash (“srash”), and Brio trains!
And in the biggest box was a Safari Express train set, a perfect finale to Madeline’s Christmas morning.
Madeline had a present for Daddy, but she was somewhat reluctant to give it.
What’s a holiday without coloring on your face?
Some shots with the afternoon sunlight.
Some evening shots of the tree.
Madeline ended her Christmas day by laying her head in Mommy’s lap and falling asleep on the hard wood floor. Mommy was unable to move for the next half hour.
This holiday season we celebrated our precious baby girl. With tiny delicate hands and soft wispy baby hair, she seems only slightly bigger than the 5-pound Valentine we first brought home. (And she still fits in 3-6 month shoes.) Our dear little Madeline — whose name fittingly derives from old German for “little girl” — has so much happiness and love to share. As if on cue, she just began saying “Mum-ma? Mum-mum-mum-ma?”
We did mail these on time; I just haven’t had time to blog. Or facebook. Or read the news. Or sleep. Thanks, school! Glad you are finished for the semester. And so happy to spend a cozy winter break with my baby girl. Once again, she is reminding me to appreciate simplicity. That is, I don’t have to be crazy busy to be happy, because she’ll give me plenty to do. Don’t go looking for trouble, Mommy.
Photos courtesy of the lovely Ericha Farrington.
Technically, Philly’s first snow of the season was earlier, but that stuff didn’t stick.
Babymoon part 6 of 6. Besides visiting the parks, we spent a lot of time at other resort attractions. It was nice to do everything at a leisurely pace and made for a great vacation 🙂
Brunch, then Fantasia Gardens Mini Golf
Babymoon part 5 of 6. The best part of DAK is the safari, and the best time to go is in the morning. The animals are active then and give you plenty of photo ops. In fact, half of our images came from Animal Kingdom. Whereas motorized attractions and themed settings are reproducible and practically perfect visuals every time you see them, animals choose whether to cooperate for your camera. And they are just so darn awesome.
Babymoon, part 4 of 6. By a small margin, the Studios is our favorite park. It feels old-timey and nostalgic. It has great live-action shows with talented performers and fun rides. Unfortunately with the pregnancy we didn’t go on my favorite, Rockin’ Roller Coaster. That just means we’ll have to come back!
Babymoon part 3 of 6. The day we visited EPCOT was very cloudy and drizzly. The weather made photography and visiting the countries less than ideal, but on the plus side, it wasn’t crowded at all, and we managed to hit our favorites 🙂
Babymoon part 2 of 6. The first park we visited was Magic Kingdom, and we were pleasantly surprised to find the holiday decorations were still in place. Holiday hours were also still in effect, and with the drop in attendance that comes after the new year, we had an easy time navigating the mild crowds. One cool thing that is probably really hard to find anywhere else is the mutoscope — and the Main Street Station has several. Here’s a video of one called “Rodeo Time” in action: